Entertainment Weekly - 4/12/91
"..the album George Strait was born to make, and the first one to show the 38-year old Texan in control of his idiom: The record is a sublime refinement of all the ballads, honky-tonk, and hot Texas dance music he's done before. We get to hear all the different facets of his musical personality..." - Rating: A+
Q - 6/914 Stars
- Excellent - "..Beneath those Bobby Ewing good looks and well-pressed ranchwear, clean-livin' Texan George Strait has certainly done his honky-tonk homework. Leaning heavily on the high-octane ghosts of country past, he's produced his most satisfying and consistent album since 1987's "Ocean Front Property."
Stereo Review (9/91) - Performance "His Best" / Recording "Excellent" - "..It is, simply, the album of his career.."
Personnel: George Strait (vocals, guitar); Steve Gibson, David Anthony (acoustic guitar); Brett Rowan, Rick McRae, Benny McArthur (electric guitar); Paul Franklin, Mike Daily (steel guitar); Gene Elders, Johnny Gimble (fiddle); Jim Horn (saxophone); Floyd Domino, Ronnie Huckaby (piano); Joe Chemay, Terry Hale (bass); Larrie London, Phil Fisher (drums).
Personnel: George Strait (vocals, guitar); David Anthony, Steve Gibson (guitar); Rick McRae, Benny McArthur, Brent Rowan (electric guitar); Mike Daily, Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Gene Elders, Johnny Gimble (violin, fiddle); Jim Horn (saxophone); Ronnie Huckaby, Floyd Domino (piano); Phil Fisher, Larrie Londin (drums); Curtis Young, Liana Young (background vocals).
1991's THE CHILL OF AN EARLY FALL is the first album that George Strait released after the sudden ascendance of Garth Brooks as the new king of country music, a move that nudged Strait into the unexpected role of elder statesman after a half-decade in which he was the hottest thing in Nashville. Wisely, Strait doesn't try to reassert his primacy by mimicking the younger singer's more pop-oriented moves; instead, THE CHILL OF AN EARLY FALL is a reflective, quiet album in keeping with its autumnal title. The haunting title track is one of Strait's most effective ballads, but perhaps most interesting is the stretch of old-school country classics Strait essays on side two, completely traditional and heartfelt versions of Lefty Frizell's "Anything You Can Spare," Bob Wills's "Home In San Antone," Hank Williams's "Lovesick Blues" and Kokomo Arnold's "Milk Cow Blues." In this roots-conscious effort, Strait subtly reaffirms his connection to bedrock country music in the face of the increasingly pop-oriented focus Nashville would take in the coming decade.